Madison WI Real Estate Blog

Your Guide to Madison, WI Neighborhood Pools

Summer is almost here, which means it's nearly time to head to the pool. Throughout Madison, there are several neighborhood swimming pools for children and adults to enjoy. Many of the pools offer memberships, while others offer paid admission to the public. Here's a quick guide to some of the best neighborhood pools found throughout Madison.

Parkcrest Pool

Found in the Parkwood Hill neighborhood, this swimming pool was built before many of the homes in the neighborhood. It includes areas for diving, lap swimming and for kitchens. The pool area also offers basketball and tennis.

This is a membership pool, which includes swimming and diving lessons. It also includes access to tennis and basketball leagues with something for all ages.

Monona Community Pool

A 300,000-gallon swimming pool with a water slide, the Monona Community Pool is a great choice for the summer. It will even host the All City Dive Meet in July, which will be fun for spectators.

The swimming pool includes eight lanes for lap swim, a wading pool, two diving boards, a water slide and a concession stand. Admission is $4 for adult residents and $3 for children. Non-residents can get in for $5 and seniors received a discounted admission of $3.

Evening swim is also offered Monday through Thursday from 7pm to 9pm for just $2 per person. Season passes are also available and range from $45 to $190.

Goodman Pool

Opening on June 9th and staying open through Labor Day Weekend, the Goodman pool is one of the top choices in the area. It was the first municipal swimming pool and opened in 2006. This swimming pool offers plenty of fun with...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 5/17/2017

In the latest episode of the The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik covers a few homes for sale in great neighborhoods, such as Sun Prairie and  Southwest Madison. Josh also covers the current issues with the shortage of homes for sale.

Many buyers are a bit dissapointed right now due to the lack of home inventory throughout the Madison area. Many of the best properties are selling with multiple offers, which has presented a challenge for buyers. Now is a great time to list your home, if you're considering a move. Contact our team and let us help you get your home sold for the best price possible.

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Why Isn't Your Home Selling?

Sellers have been favored in the Madison real estate market for many months now. In fact, if your house isn't selling, it's a bit of an anomaly right now. With less inventory than necessary, it shouldn't be hard to get your home sold.

However, if you’re struggling to sell your home, there could be a reason behind it. Here are some of the top reasons your home may not be selling in Madison.

The Price

Setting the right price makes a huge difference. Too high of a price and you'll scare off potential buyers. If you set a list price too low, buyers may wonder what's wrong with the home.

Pricing is the top reasons a home doesn't sell in any real estate market. When you set the right price, it will sell and in a seller's market, it will sell fast.

Sellers often set too high of a price due to emotional attachment. Hiring a good real estate agent can give you an objective opinion and help you set the right price for your home.

Not Properly Staged

An un-staged home means it could be too personal for buyers. When you still have family pictures up and your decor everywhere, it may not appeal to a large enough audience.

Buyers need to see the home as their own, not yours. Staging will not only help to take you out of the home, but will also give you better listing pictures. Both of these can help get your home sold faster and for a better price.

Poor Marketing

If you're trying to sell your home on your own, it may not be listed on MLS. You may also be missing the social media buzz you need to get your home sold. Even if you hired a real estate agent, they may...

Best Bike Trails Found Throughout Madison, WI

Miles of bike trails are found all throughout Madison. Whether you prefer a park trail or a road trail, there are plenty of choices all throughout the city. Here's a look at some of the top bike trails in Madison, Wisconsin.

Capital City State Trail

Providing the link between Glacial Drumlin State Trail and Military Ridge state Trail, Capital City State Trail provides nine miles of trails throughout the Capital Springs State Recreation Area. It follows seven miles of bikeways in the city from Nob Hill to the east site of Madison. There's a one-mile link on Verona Road in Fitchburg, which connects the trail to the Military Ridge State Park.

Quarry Ridge Recreation Area Trails

More than three miles of off-road and freeride bike trails are provides with inclines and drops. Those looking for more of a challenge will love these bike trails. The recreation area has trails rated from beginner to expert with views of the pond and plenty more. You can also gain direct access to the Military Ridge State Trail here.

Military Ridge State Trail

A 40-mile trail in Iowa and Dane Counties, the Military Ridge State Trail provides plenty of great biking. It's very close to the connection of Badger and Capital City state trails in Fitchburg and a new 6-mile section is included called the Shake Rag Trail. It's a pretty level trail with smooth asphalt and limestone surfaces. A 2.5-mile section from in Verona and Fitchburg has been paved for...

Visit the Henry Vilas Zoo This Summer

A 28-acre public zoo located in Madison, the Henry Vilas Zoo provides plenty of great fun for the entire family. It's visited by about 750,000 people every year and for good reason. If you're looking for something fun to do with the family this summer, visit the zoo.

Exhibits

The Henry Vilas Zoo provides a number of different exhibits including:

  • Tropical Rainforest Aviary
  • North American Prairie
  • Arctic Passage
  • Primate House
  • Children's Zoo
  • Wisconsin Heritage
  • Big Cat Exhibits
  • And More!

You'll discover all types of animals and wildlife all throughout the zoo. Children will get to see plenty of different animals and experience something unique.

Animals

There are several different animals you will discover at the zoo from all over the world. Animals from Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and South America are found at the zoo. Some of the animals you will find here include:

  • Black Sans
  • Alpaca
  • Polar Bears
  • Harbor Seals
  • Grizzly Bears
  • North American River Otter
  • African Lion
  • Aardvark
  • Ostrich
  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • Koi
  • Amur Tiger
  • And More!

Discover all the animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Zoo History

William and Anna Vilas gave the city of Madison 50 acres of land back in 1904 with the condition of using the land for a public park and pleasure ground. The zoo was named after their son Henry, who died of diabetes at a very young age. The family also asked the city to make the park admission-free.

In 1911, the...

A Quick Guide to the Madison Bike Share Program

The bicycle share program in Madison is known as B-Cycle. This program allows you to choose from 40 different stations found throughout the city. You get to select a bike and hit the road with greener, healthier transportation.

What is Madison B-Cycle?

A bikeshare program helping revolutionize the city of Madison, B-Cycle provides bikes for members and non-members to use to get around town. You can ride wherever you want to go after you've checked out a bike. Memberships allow you to check out one bike at a time and you get unlimited checkouts during your membership timeframe.

The goal of B-Cycle is to encourage residents to use bikes for short trips. Some memberships allow for longer trips, but most are for 30 to 60 minute trips. However, you can always dock your B-Cycle bike and check it out again.

How Does B-Cycle Work?

It all starts with purchasing a membership online. You can choose a day, month or year-long membership. If you don't want to purchase a membership, B-Cycle offers walk-up pricing at all B-station Kiosks.

After you have a membership, you will check out a bike. Those with a month or year-long membership will receive a B-card in the mail, which allows for faster unlocking of bikes. Until you receive your card, you can sign in at the kiosk to get your bike and use the same credit card you used for your membership.

Once you've checked out your bike, you can head out for a ride for up to 30 minutes. If you need longer, it does cost extra. This helps to encourage cyclists to return bikes keeping plenty available for all members.

After you've gone for your ride or arrived at your destination, simply return the bike...

3 Stunning Country Clubs Near Madison

Wisconsin is home to more than 500 golf courses. Some of the best courses are found throughout Madison, including three incredible country clubs. If you're looking for a private club to join, here are three you should put high on your list.

Stoughton Country Club

Found in the City of Stoughton, this country club goes back to 1899. It's located on the shores of Lake Kegonsa. The course was built on local farm land and originally covered nine holes.

Before it became what it is today, Stoughton Country Club was destroyed by fire and tornado. Today, it's a private club with 18 holes and measures 6,355 yards. It's not a long course, but does provide many great perks for gold and social membership.

Along with the golf course, the country club provides a pier with a dock, restaurant facilities and a clubhouse.

Blackhawk Country Club

A pure golf club with nothing else, Blackhawk Country Club provides some of the finest views you will find in the Madison area. It's an 18-hole golf course measuring 6,193 yards. Along with the course, golfers enjoy the driving range, putting green, golf academy, junior programs and more.

Blackhawk Country Club is actually listed on the National Park Service's Register for Historic Places. It's located in Shorewood Hills on the shores of Lake Mendota and provides one of the best choices for private facilities in the area.

Maple Bluff Country Club

Another great choice in Madison is Maple Bluff Country Club. It's a great place to call home and the golf course provides plenty of challenge throughout. It was originally created as a five-hole...

March 2017 Market Recap

Sales for both single-family homes and condominiums in Dane County fell 8.7% in March 2017 compared to March 2016. A large portion of the decline in sales is due to lower than normal inventory of active listings, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS Report.

Monthly medial sales throughout Dane County increased year-over-year for the 19th month out of the last 20. Median sales prices for single-family homes have risen 6% over the past 12 months, while condominium prices have gone up 9.6%.

The lack of active inventory has had an impact on Dane County. March 2017 showed only 1.7 months of active inventory for single family homes and only 1.3 months for condos. For the real estate market to be considered as a balanced market, about six months of active inventory is necessary.

Throughout the rest of spring and into summer, the inventory for existing and new homes and condos will play a large part in whether sales are as high as they can be. Other factors are not having as much of an impact with interest rates up just slightly, the economy improving and the job market providing more stability.

Homeowners looking to sell in Dane County, now is the time. Buyers are ready to make an offer and it's certainly a sellers’ market right now.

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Veridian Homes: Building Top Communities in Madison

Veridian Homes is known as one of the top home builders in the Madison with a number of great communities within the area. The company provides a number of excellent home plans and they are well-known for building green, energy-efficient options. If you're looking to start the new construction home process, Veridian Homes may be the right choice for you.

What to Expect with Veridian Homes

Veridian Homes does everything possible to make the home building process easy. You get to use the design studio to select many features including flooring, siding, countertops, faucets and so much more. This makes it every easy to customize your home to fit your specific tastes.

With more than 60 years of building experience, Veridian homes has provided many high quality, healthy homes throughout Dane County. You'll work with a new home specialist to ensure you understand every step in the process. With a commitment to incredible customer service, Veridian Homes has built a reputation as Madison's top home builder.

Veridian Homes Neighborhoods

Veridian Homes places many of their neighborhoods in convenient locations close to restaurants, schools, parks and shopping. Currently, there are 19 new communities featuring Veridian Homes as the builder. Some of the top communities include:

  • Daybreak Valley in Middleton - Featuring a quiet environment with incredible shopping and dining nearby, Daybreak Valley is a very charming option from Veridian Homes.
  • Spruce Hollow in Town of Middleton - A golf course community with plenty of trails and endless amenities, Spruce Hollow is located...

Upcoming Event: 2017 Parade of Homes

Every year, the Madison Area Builders Association holds the Parade of Homes event. This event helps to shine the spotlight on many new home communities throughout the Madison area. Whether you're looking for inspiration for your own home or you're considering a new construction home, this event is for you.

Neighborhoods

This year, seven different neighborhoods will be a part of the Parade of Homes event including:

  • Heritage Gardens
  • Kilkenny Farms
  • Savannah Brooks
  • Nordic Ridge
  • The Legend at Bergamont
  • Westbridge
  • Windsor Gardens

The Legends at Bergamont in Oregon is one of the featured neighborhoods. This luxury community covers about 523 acres and offers incredible amenities throughout. It's built around an 18-hole championship golf course with a clubhouse, swimming pools, fitness center and more.

Another great choice for luxury and unique amenities, Westbridge in Waunakee will be featured during the event. This neighborhood provides access to a popular zipline park and many other great amenities.

All of the featured neighborhoods show off some of the best new communities found throughout the Madison, Wisconsin area.

Parade of Homes Builders

Those attending the event will have the opportunity to see some of the work from top area builders. Participating builders for the event include:

  • Acker Builders
  • Alterra Homes
  • Bowers Construction
  • Classic Homes of Madison
  • Craftsman Construction
  • DK Design Build
  • F&F Home Construction
  • HLW Builders
  • Landmark Builders
  • Midwest Homes, Inc.
  • Premier...

Monona Terrace Fun Summer Events

Monona Terrace is one of the hottest places for events in the summer. With concerts, dance events and so much more, this section of Madison provides plenty to enjoy. In addition, it's one of the best places for great views of Lake Monona.

As Madison's premier convention center, Monona Terrace often holds conferences and meetings. However, there are many special events held here throughout the year. The facility was also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and offers guided tours and a rooftop terrace for dining and drinking throughout the summer.

Upcoming Events at Monona Terrace

From Yoga to design events, there's always something going on at Monona Terrace. Below is a quick look at some of the best events coming this summer.

Go Red for Women Luncheon - May 5th from 10:30am to 1:30pm  

A noble event helping to support living a healthier lifestyle, the Go Red for Women luncheon will help unite the community. It's just one of the Many Go Red for Women events held throughout Madison, Wisconsin each year.

Pokémon Regional Competition & Ohana-Con - June 2nd to 4th from 3pm to 9pm

If you love Pokémon, this family-friendly cosplay event is perfect for you. It's one of the largest annual Pokémon Regional Championships in the country with all types of gaming enthusiasts on hand.

Shake The Lake Rooftop Party - June 24th from 6pm...

Serious Buyers Don't Wait for Open Houses

The market is heating up and you cannot wait any longer. Competition in Madison has become heavy and if you wait for an open house, you might have to go back to the drawing board.

New listings are hitting the market and drawing a large amount of interest very fast. If you or your buyer's agent discover a new listing you like, don't wait for an open house to view it. Instead, schedule your showing as soon as possible.

First in Line isn't Enough

Being the first one to view the home may help, but it's not enough. You have to be ready to buy. Before you start your home search, make sure:

  • You have a pre-approval letter
  • Your down payment is ready
  • You know your budget
  • You have a list of needs and wants for your next home
  • You have a skilled agent to provide advice

Going into a home showing ready to buy is the only way to gain an edge when the market is so hot. Right now, you're likely to face stiff competition in Madison, Wisconsin. Preparation will make your position at the front of the line even stronger.

Open House Canceled!

Have you seen this headline lately? Many buyers have been burned by showing up to a canceled open house or counting on it without realizing the property has already gone into "pending" status.

If you delay on a home you're interested in, you may receive a notification of a cancelled open house. Homes are selling fast in Madison and you just cannot afford to delay.

Working with a Top Real Estate Team

One of the best ways to ensure you get the property you desire...

Summer Concert Series: Concerts on the Square

The Concerts on the Square series provides a popular choice with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. It's one of the largest outdoor concerts held in Madison. More than 120,000 people attend this series every summer and enjoy plenty of great music.

The concert series will be held on the Capitol Lawn again this summer with six different dates. All concerts within the Concerts on the Square series will be held on Wednesdays at 7pm. Here's what you can expect this year.

Performance Dates and Information

Six Wednesdays in a row will provide performances on the Capitol Lawn. Dates for the Concert on the Square events include:

  • June 28th, 2017
  • July 5th, 2017
  • July 12th, 2017
  • July 19th, 2017
  • July 26th, 2017
  • August 2nd, 2017

Each show will begin at 7pm. You can start placing blanked to save your spot at 3pm. Any blankets placed before 3pm will be removed. At 5pm before the show, the food and beverage booths will open, along with the kids' area.

Vendors

A number of vendors will be available providing food and beverage options. Vendors for this year's concert series include:

  • Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra - Providing Beer, Wine, Soda and other beverages
  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream - Providing ice cream, cheesecake, pie, cookies and cupcakes.
  • Curt's Popcorn - Providing gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors.

Along with these three vendors, there will be several Box Supper Vendors. You can reserve your meal in advance of the show. Box Supper Vendors include:

  • Bandung
  • Cranberry Creek Cafe & Grill
  • Eldorado Grill
  • Five Star BBQ
  • Fromangination
  • Greek Street
  • Gristle
  • Jamerica
  • O.S.S.
  • Papa John's
  • The Rodeo Wagon
  • SOHO...

How to Stage and Show Your Home With Kids

We love our kids, but they can make it a bit harder to stage and show a home for sale. Preparing your home to be sold is stressful enough without having to clean up after the kids. However, there are some easy ways to get your home ready and keep it "show ready" even with children in the house. Here are a few easy to follow tips.

Choose a Real Estate Professional that Fits

The first step in the home selling process is hiring the right real estate agent. Make sure you choose an agent fitting well with you, your home and your family. The decision shouldn't be based on the agent providing the highest listing price. Instead, make sure they understand how to work with you and your family.

Get your Kids Ready to Sell

One of the most important steps when it comes to staging and showing a home with kids is preparing the little ones. They need to understand what it means to sell the home and you shouldn't wait until the "for sale" sign goes up.

Make the idea of selling your home an adventure as they pack some of their toys away. It's also a good idea to give your children a job and let them feel useful as they help get the house ready.

Clean and Declutter

Before you start the cleaning and decluttering process, you may need to rent a small storage unit. Children tend to have a large amount of stuff and you will probably need to remove most of it from the home. If you want to get top dollar, you should only leave the necessary. Eliminate as many knick-knacks, toys and photos as possible and clean up anything else considered personal. Keep just a few of the favorite toys for your children.

Staging

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Top 3 Farmers' Markets Found Near Madison, WI

Heading to a farmers' market provides plenty of fun, great food and a sign that spring is really here. In Madison, Wisconsin, the farmers’ markets become very busy as the weather warms up and the snow melts. Here's a quick look at three of the top farmers' markets you'll find near Madison.

Dane County Farmers' Market

As the original farmers' market in Madison, the Dane County Farmers' Market is one of the most popular. A number of vendors participate in the market providing quite the variety of goods. Plenty of baked goods, cheese, meat, dairy products, vegetables and specialty items are found throughout the market. Find a complete list of what's available by the season on their website here.

The Saturday Market is held on Capitol Square from 6:15am to 1:45am, starting April 15th and running through November 11th.

The Wednesday Market is held at the 200 Block of MLK, Jr. Boulevard from 8:30am to 1:45pm, starting on April 19th and running through November 8th.

Capitol View Farmers' Market

Held every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm from May 31st to October 11th, the Capitol View Farmers' Market provides a great choice for those not willing to wake up early. It's an afternoon market in the Madison Far East neighborhood held at 5901 Sharpsburg Drive.

The market provides plenty of high quality and fresh food items including meat, dairy products, baked goods, local produce and more. Along with shopping, you can enjoy live music from 4pm to 6pm at this farmers' market.

Northside...

February 2017 Market Recap

February proved to be a strong month for residential home and condo sales in Dane County. In fact, February 2017 was the highest month for home sales in Dane County since 2007 and 4.4% higher than the same month last year.

The month's median sales price also increased year-over-year, which has happened 18 times in the past 19 months.

The active inventory remains as the story for the market because of a significant lack of inventory. Only 688 new listings were reported in Dane County, which is the lowest number since 2002. Total active listings came in at just 989 and it hasn't been that low since 1997.


Only 1.47 months of active inventory are available to buyers. Usually, a balanced market will show about six months of inventory.

Overall, compared to the start of 2016, the real estate market in Dane County is off to a positive start in 2017.

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5 Top Tips For First-Time Home Buyers in Madison

One of the largest and most exciting purchases you will ever make is a home. The first time you go through this process, it can be rather stressful. However, with the right Realtor and a few tips, you can take the stress out of the process and enjoy the excitement.

Here are 5 tips all first-time home buyers should consider.

Consider All The Expenses

Often, first-time home buyers look at how the mortgage payment will compare to their current rental payment. However, owning a home requires maintenance, homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance and other expenses. The utilities may be different, as well. Take the time to consider how these expenses will change your monthly budget before you start home shopping.

Think About More Than Just Today

Do you plan to grow your family? Is it possible you will have to care for an elderly parent? Could your job have you relocating soon?

There are many things to consider before you purchase a home in Madison, Wisconsin for the first time. If you plan to grow your family, you may want a larger home now, even though you won't need all the bedrooms for a few years.

It's also important to consider the school district, the traffic and the other factors around the home before you start shopping. All of these factors come into play if you end up needing to sell your home, as well.

Get Pre-Approved

It's much easier to submit a winning offer when you've been pre-approved by a lender. You may need to compete with other buyers as the real estate market in Madison starts to heat up and a pre-approval letter will help. In addition, you'll understand what you can actually afford by getting pre-approved.

Save As Much As Possible For A Down Payment

Putting 20% down is ideal, as it will allow you to avoid...

Expedia.com Names Madison to 'Super Cool' List

Recently, Expedia.com releases a list of 21 cities they consider to be "Super Cool." This list featured two cities tied at #1 and one of those cities was Madison, Wisconsin!

How This List Was Compiled

The list created by Expedia used a point system with the maximum number of points possible 28. The points were based on the following factors:

  • Lyft available
  • Farmers markets
  • All-service restaurants
  • Zagat’s Best Food Cities List from 2016
  • Arts districts or bar/restaurant districts
  • Large amount of population between ages 20-34
  • Less than 2 hours from a big city
  • Score on Sperling's Best Places
  • More than 5 museums/major art galleries
  • Annual festivals
  • AreaVibes livability score

Overall, Madison, WI scored 26 out of 28 points. The city made the second spot, but the score was the same as Austin, TX, which was in the first spot.

What Expedia Had To Say About Madison

Some of the reasons Madison scored so well and was named to the top of the list included the incredible festival season and large number of restaurants. The city has more than eight restaurants per 10,000 capita and offers many fine dining options. With a number of great festivals, such as the Revelry Music and Arts Festival, Madison scored very high in this category, as well.

Expedia also ranked Madison high due to other attractions, such as:

The excellent museum...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 03/22/17

In the latest episode of the The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik covers what to expect with the Madison real estate market as it starts to heat up for the spring.

Josh discusses how the marketing efforts for a condo open house created a large amount of foot traffic due to the spring market arriving. He talks about the current seller's market with the low inventory and how this is the time of year many new real estate agents become licensed.

During this episode of The Real Estate News, Josh also goes through some of his current listing and newly listed properties. 

Want to learn more about the local real estate market in Madison and surrounding communities.  Contact our team today.

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